Being a Daughter

04/21/17

Braelyn and Brynlee,

Hey, my beautiful baby girls, I have struggled so much to make this blog. It just seems so hard to think in the past when the days are moving by at record speed. I decided to change a few things up. I am going to write to you in the here and now, and the present as things occur, then work myself backwards. You see today just seeing you climb into the bus and pull away from me is almost more than I can bare……it takes all of my courage not to chase after you kicking and screaming that you cannot possibly be ready to leave me to attend school. I have come in on days that I don’t have to work, intent on filling pages on my blog beginning with the day you were born…….but then the cloud of nostalgia hits me and I barely make it through the fact that you are both in school. Most days the only thing I can do is crawl back into bed and wish the day away, or spend my day cleaning to numb my mind to all of the ramblings it likes to replay in my head. Most days I am busy, working, providing, surviving, just keeping my head above water. Motherhood has both stripped me bare…..raw and unrelenting yet somehow soothing and magical. It has also given me my greatest gifts, you and your sister along with the most fierce weapons, the love and courage of a mother. I look at you, my eyes feel up with tears, even though my mind reels it to stop being foolish. I look at each of you, and the love I feel……well, it is beyond explanation. I would live forever in pain if it spared you just a single ounce of hurt, I would die right now if it gave you a life filled with happiness, there really is no definition to a mother’s love, and I can tell you all of this until the cows come home but you won’t truly know until you have babies of your own. The love you feel for them is almost painful.

I was talking to your nanny the other night and it suddenly hit me. Your nanny had to learn how to live without JUST being a mommy after such a long time only identifying as being that. Your nanny and I have always had an inexplicable bond, one that neither time nor words could define growing up. I hate to admit that in the recent years there has been a distance, a wedge, a shift in what was once a very established friendship. I pondered on it relentlessly, not able to place a finger upon what caused this change, though it gave me great anxiety. For the passed few years one of us felt slighted by the other and it was a relentless cycle. I mourned for a great while before telling myself….well, you are doing this on your own, you are being a wife, and a mom, you are making it work…….never thinking that perhaps that was the very thing that hurt her. You see, my sweet girls, I ALWAYS needed your nanny, be it advice about a date, a chat about life, or a much needed laughter song fest in the car……I needed her. So, when she wasn’t there when I needed her, I was lost. Now, I place no blame on her, chances are that I didn’t tell her how much I struggled finding help with you wee little tots whilst trying to work, chances are I expected her to just know like she had all of my life…in the end, me and your dad figured it out, we made it work. But where did that leave your nanny? I just assumed she was over the child rearing stage, doing her tough love act, making me stand on my own two feet…….but yet it seemed the lesson must be over; you started school and I was free to work. I was at an impasse on how to fix our strained relationship. What did I do to make this rift and how do I repair it. I didn’t care who caused it but had no idea what I was apologizing for. You girls remember to always say you are sorry when you hurt someone even if it is unintentional. I tried to think of what I had done to hurt her until one morning after my two sweetest gifts boarded the bus and I walked into my now quiet house, I crawled into bed and wept. What is my purpose??? What do I do now?????? I asked over and over as my body was racked with sobs….then I saw her, my mommy, looking at me the way I looked at you when I was little. Watching in fast forward as I grew up, but I must’ve been hard to let go of because I always needed her. If I was happy, sad, angry, excited she was who I shared it with…then you pretty girls were born. Life got fast in a hurry, it was a blur of sleepless nights, happy days, first steps, new words……and you became my all in all, my sun, moon and my stars…….my entire universe. Now, I will never regret loving you both that much, I do regret making my mom feel like she wasn’t a necessary part of that galaxy. I put you on a bus and you would be home before dark…….she wrapped her world around me and your aunt boo and then we had a family of our own. Laying under those covers that rainy April morning, I tried to envision the day you didn’t come home to the house you share with me…I know that day will come but I have never allowed myself to think of it, much like I try not to ponder on your births because it brings up untapped emotions and it takes all the emotion I have to face each day. This particular day however, I relented, I could see my mom her blue eyes sparkling as she walked me into school each day, willing the tears not to fall. I could see her every Christmas morning as me and my sister unwrapped gifts that she had tallied through the year to make sure nothing was missed……toys, clothes, everything we really couldn’t afford she made it happen every single christmas, giving us magic for a day and herself debt for a year. She was and still is a tough love type of person…..hence the reason you have a mommy much the same way. Mom doesn’t do babying, or at least not when we were kids…a little more with you girls but I can’t fault her there when I have grandkids goodness knows I will be softer.

I am not sure why the light bulb didn’t go off after all these years? Perhaps, because you girls liked to see how sleep deprived I could get and I know there are days that run together because Brynlee Jean loves to wake me up. I know the day will come that she no longer seeks me to comfort her from a nightmare or Braelyn maybe you won’t tell me as enthusiastically as you do now, about your day. I try not to rush these things because you see a few weeks ago,I was you. I was a tiny little girl, learning about how this big old world works and I had this mom, well she was everything. Let me tell you how great she is. When my first crush came along, which also happened to be a celebrity, she didn’t discourage it, we talked about getting into concerts because she told me if he ever met me he would love me instantly. We would blast his songs and laugh all night as we painted the kitchen. That same mom, many years later would accompany me to see that very guy in concert…(although we were both very married lol)

The weekends most teens want to spend with their friends I spent with my mom, we watched great movies……and some not so great ones, shared a popcorn, then dinner…..then boys came along. Oh, girls, I know that day will come all too soon but I pray it is a long time from now. Yet, Mom, listened about every fancy my heart had, and the one that broke my heart into a million pieces…..she saw me through all the in betweens and then the heartbreak you cannot define except to live to see the revelation on the other side. She spent her life building me, she built me up, when I was broken she brought me back to life and when I could finally set sail on my own she pushed me out to sea willing me to find my way. I couldn’t see her reasoning and her way of thinking or the way it felt…I felt abandoned, capsized, done in by the waves of life that kept hammering my vessel with no relief in sight. It forced me to see a lot of things, I saw your daddy, I saw my own strength, but I didn’t see your nanny anymore. I thought for a long while this was her intention, and I continued this way after many nights grieving the bond, the love, the laughter we once shared. I mourned those back roads on a late night, a cheesy movie and just her company…but this is what she meant to do,right? I felt forsaken and alone, like my only harbor was your daddy, which only aided in the ever growing bridge between me and my mother. Girls, you see, sometimes you are too close to a situation to see it from all sides. Your nanny didn’t cast me out, she through the line and waited for the bobber to sink so she would know trouble was afoot…..the trouble is she raised me to be just like her, so even if I was struggling my bobber never moved…..so she sat on the side of a bank for goodness knows how long waiting for me to need her. It is silly now because I always needed her but thinking this was the lesson she was teaching I never grabbed the line to be reeled back in. I drowned a thousand times to keep from being saved just once. Pride is a great thing but it can also be a problem if you put it above those you love. It is a tricky thing to navigate being both independent and leaning on those you love. I hope you learn to do both. Your nanny did something my heart could never do, she loved me, built me, rebuilt me, tossed me out to stand on my own and when I did she allowed me to, even though it meant she had to stand alone.

The thing is girls, I didn’t know I was hurting her because I was too busy thinking of how much I was hurting……yet, I left your nanny who had never one time growing up abandon me, I made her feel alone, unimportant, replaceable…..no that was never my intention but it is her perception and there are years I will never get back because of it. I hope you grow up, and know my love is strong, tough, and unending. When I force you into the world that doesn’t mean you don’t get to come back to the nest………I cannot imagine my nest without you. Never be mad at me longer than a few hours because I am only human, and I am full of flaws, if you picked me apart for an hour you would know I am not worthy of you nor will I ever be. I made a mistake a long time ago to allow my mom to think that I didn’t need her. It never occurred to me that she didn’t know she was the beat of my heart, the happy to my sad, the make me laugh when I wanted to cry, the sing when I was out of music………the first day of school, and every bit of heartache I felt as I sobbed into her shoulder. To imagine you girls will one day think you can live a day without me, if I am here, call me. Pick up the phone, make the call. If you need help, tell me. If you want advice ask. Forever is a long time and I want you both to know no matter what you do or who you become I am so proud of you. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mom and an aunt……..hopefully, I will live to be a nanny but I am human. I am flawed. I am imperfect. My love for you, however is perfection, flawless and undefinable. Forgive me more than I deserve and love me when I am unlovable. You see my mom did this for me but somewhere along the way I forgot to do the same for her. You will never regret loving someone even if it depletes all of you, because it comes back full circle. I want you to love me like I loved your nanny, and I want you to share a bond that not many women can say they have felt. We are the same, she and I, the issue was I was too much like her at my age and she is me in the future. Although no one is to blame, so much time is lost! If you see your nanny, you hug her, you love her, ask about her day, listen for a change because that is what she has done all her life, tell her how beautiful she is, share the memories I have shared with you, only then will she feel alive, reborn, renewed and fulfilled. You, my sweet girls, you are the future, I broke things I work to repair, your great grandma broke things too, let’s lift each other up. If the day comes your sister, aunt, cousin or nanny seem withdrawn……seek to draw them in. I am so sorry my mom ever felt isolated when she’s always been my one true north. Never make the same mistake, love everyone, you will never regret it. If someone is sad, you encourage them. Live by these words and you will forever make me proud. You can outgrow a lot of things but you cannot outgrow your mom.

 

Your unworthy mom,

April

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